Baked Stuffed Jalapeños

AppetizerSuper BowlMexican and Tex MexJalapeno

Stuffed Jalapeños (or Baked Jalapeño Poppers) with cheese, onions, cilantro and bacon, seasoned with oregano and cumin.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Stuffed Jalapeños

Are you a risk taker? I think one has to be a bit adventurous to eat jalapeños.

You never know if biting into one is going to yield that wonderful flavor and kick that is the basis for so much of Southwestern food, or if that one little bite will pack such a fiery punch that you’ll be running around the room mouth agape and tears in your eyes, begging for something to cool it all down.

Cheese is the Jalapeño Heat Antidote

If you find that the pepper you’ve bitten into is just too hot for your tongue, cool it off with sour cream, milk, or cream cheese. That’s the trick and the reason why cheese is so often paired with hot chiles.

There’s something in the milk protein that lessens the impact of the capsaicin (the molecules that give chiles their heat). Which is one very good reason why stuffed jalapeños are stuffed with cheese, among other things.

Baked Jalapeño Poppers – Mixing it Up!

The other good reason why stuffed jalapeños are filled with cheese is they taste good that way! Hank and I decided to experiment with stuffed jalapeños this week.

We stuffed them with cheddar, with jack, with pepper jack, with cream cheese, with bacon mixed with lots of other things, and we ended up with two favorites.

Stuffed Jalapeños or jalapeno poppers ready to bake

Favorites: Bacon and Jack Cheese, and Cream Cheese Stuffed Jalapeños

One of our favorite jalapeño poppers was the cream cheese stuffed jalapeño filled with onions, cilantro, cumin and a little bit of jack cheese. The other favorite is similar but has jack cheese and bacon instead of the cream cheese. But you can really do whatever you want here.

Mix it up. Try adding some shrimp, or barbecue sauce. Use queso fresco instead of the cream cheese. Out of the two baked jalapeño poppers recipes below, I loved the way the cream cheese enveloped the jalapeños in my mouth. Hank likes the bacon and jack (well he would like the bacon version, no duh.)

baked jalapeno poppers or stuffed jalapenos

Do you have a favorite stuffing for stuffed jalapeños or baked jalapeño poppers? We would love to hear about it.

Baked Stuffed Jalapeños Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 12-24 servings (depending on how you've cut the jalapeños).

When working with jalapeños, it helps to wear disposable gloves. If you don't have gloves, coat your hands with some oil before working with the peppers, then once you are done, wash your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water. Do not touch your eyes for several hours after handling the peppers.

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Filling Version

  • 12 jalapeño peppers*
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
  • 2 ounces jack cheese, cut into 2 1/2-inch long batons

Bacon and Jack Cheese Filling Version

  • 12 jalapeño peppers*
  • 1/4 cup chopped cooked bacon
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup shredded jack cheese, plus another 2 ounces of jack cheese cut into 2 1/2-inch long batons
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

* When buying jalapeños for this recipe, if you want mild peppers, look for peppers with smooth skins. Striations tend to indicate that the pepper has been stressed while growing, and that can mean a hotter pepper.

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2 Prepare the jalapeños for stuffing: You can either slice the jalapeños in half lengthwise or you can slice off the top one-third (lengthwise) of each jalapeño to make a boat shape out of each pepper.

The halved jalapeños will go further (twice as many stuffed peppers), but you can put more filling into the boat-shaped peppers. Your choice.

If you choose to make the boats, you can mince the tops and add them to the filling if you want some extra heat, or save them for another recipe.

In either case, scrape out all the seeds and ribs from each jalapeño with a spoon (a grapefruit spoon works great).

3 Mix together all the filling ingredients except the jack cheese batons.

4 Stuff the jalapeños: Pack the filling into the peppers and nestle a baton of jack cheese onto the filling of each one.

5 Bake: Arrange the peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned, and the peppers are cooked.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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Products We Love

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Links:

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Thingies - from The Pioneer Woman

Baked Jalapeño Bacon Poppers - from Steamy Kitchen

Armadillo Eggs - from Homesick Texan

cream cheese stuffed jalapeños or baked jalapeno poppers

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

82 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Sandy

    I want to make up a bunch, From our garden.
    DO YOU KNOW IF they freeze well?

  • B. Wayne

    Looks delicious! Also hilarious how some people find it spicy haaha. I love being able to handle spice!

  • Debbie

    I stuff mine with cooked Jimmy Dean mild sausage and add cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese and salt and pepper. Always a hit when I make them.

  • Nola Alt

    I made the recipe and sort of combine both variations, added bacon, little less cream cheese, little less shredded jack cheese. While this was a good recipe I would do a couple of things differently next time. The peppers pretty much flattened so maybe less baking time and substitute parchment paper for foil to line the baking pan. The cheese stuck to the foil and it was hard to get them off without taking little pieces of foil as well. Might even just use non-stick spray and no liner. Nevertheless, they all disappeared pretty fast.

  • Nita

    My version is giant stuffed seeded and viened and cut in 1/2. Cream cheese, cheddar cheese, salad shrimp, salt,pepper, garlic, bread crumbs mix well. 1/2 sliced bacon. Stuff wrap oven 375/ 35mins!

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Stuffed Jalapenos or baked jalapeno poppers on baking sheetBaked Stuffed Jalapeños